Family

211 phone service to launch in Merced

Residents in Merced and Mariposa counties will have access to a database of human service resources by simply dialing 211. The program is scheduled to launch in October. Assistance through 211 will be available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and in 150 languages.

Family

Game review: Historical characters fight aliens in steampunk strategy game 'Code Name S.T.E.A.M.'

Parents need to know that "Code Name S.T.E.A.M." is a steampunk-themed turn-based strategy game with moderate violence. Players control recognizable fictional characters such as Tom Sawyer and Tiger Lily as they use various weapons - rifles, grenade launchers, shotguns - to ward off invading aliens and protect the humans they're attacking. Combat includes screams and brief splashes of blood but nothing grisly. Allies don't die when defeated but instead are knocked unconscious and revived after each battle. Parents also should note that this game supports four specific amiibo figures that unlock content, and kids might become interested in purchasing these toys in addition to the game. This game includes online play and supports the Nintendo 3DS StreetPass feature, which means kids could be exposed to unmoderated user-generated text, potentially from strangers.

Family

Must-have travel apps

Whether you're taking the kids on a day trip or a trip around the world, if you're bringing a smartphone or tablet, you'll want to be sure you have these great apps for getting them involved and engaged in your travel adventure.

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